The international market is full of opportunities. Expanding your technology business outside national boundaries can help you tap into rich markets and increase your ROI. It will extend your existing products’ sales potential, increase profit and reduce your business dependence on the economic fluctuations in one market. If the domestic markets hit a low, global markets can keep the profit graph high. With less reliance on the domestic market, you can also reduce your prices and maintain cost competitiveness in the local market.
However, growing your business worldwide can be tricky. You can miss many essential things in this systematic development. If you are planning on expanding your business internationally, here are five essential steps you need to follow for smooth and successful growth:
1. Do Your Research
Many businesses fail to expand internationally because of a lack of research. Crossing borders means crossing cultures, and how the market operates in your country can be different from your destination country’s market. This difference makes diving into the details and testing the waters crucial. Learning about the new culture, language, behavior, and market norms can help you analyze and compete in the market well.
Next, you should look into your product and market compatibility using segmentation analysis. Identify the Total Addressable Market, Serviceable Addressable Market, and any shortcomings in the local products and demand that you can fill with your products. Understanding your competition and the market size on foreign grounds can help you estimate the time needed to hit your targeted sales.
Part of your company has to operate in the new country, and you will need to look for office space that best suits your business model and technology requirements. It is integral to eliminate the possibility of any infrastructural issues in the future. Other issues you may need to address are electricity and water supply reliability.
Once you are comfortable with the new country’s atmosphere, you can move on to the second step: planning.
2. Come Up with a Business Plan
After understanding the new target market, you can pin down realistic goals. Defining goals and objectives can help you decide how to model your business. Your strategies can vary depending on whether your expansion will be in the form of a new branch, a separate company, or just a sales office for your technology products.
Smart and sound decisions keep the business ship afloat. Your strategies must be divided into short-term and long-term projects. Multiple fluid small-term goals can increase your business’s agility, allowing it to proliferate.
Establish reasonable success metrics because your business might take time before its roots grow deeper in the market and it starts yielding fruits. Estimate an annual budget but remember to keep some extra funds for unforeseen circumstances.
Lastly, your business model and product ideas must not be rigid. You might have to customize your technology products and solutions to the market. Suppose your product or service might not be culturally suitable or is not in demand. In that case, you might have to put your thinking cap on and modify your services and products till they are what the market needs.
3. Build the Right Team
Whether launching a branch or a whole new company, you need a team. Many companies send off a group from their parent branch to run operations on foreign grounds. However, it creates a gap in understanding the market and can result in demand and service mismatch. You should include local tech resources and talented technology experts in your team who speak the same language and have insights into the country-specific industry. Often, the local hires open the door tohelpful business contacts and networks.
However, assembling a remote team can be difficult, especially if you build it from scratch. It involves too much time and risk. Instead of creating an entirely new team for a start, you can bring in a senior interim executive team that actively recruits and trains future and permanent leadership teams. The rising executive board can be diverse or entirely local based on your preference and work style. Letting the new executives slowly take responsibility under the supervision of experienced and trusted colleagues will ensure your enterprise is in safe hands.
4. Hire a Local Lawyer
Many countries have strict legal processes and laws regulating technology businesses. They often have many requirements and documentation before you can conduct business in the country. Hence, it is critical to ensure the legal readiness of your enterprise to avoid any unnecessary rounds to the court for fines. Being proactive and hiring a local lawyer is the best way to go.
Lawyers are instrumental in efficient and detailed record keeping and ensuring your documents are well-structured. Lawyers can draft new contracts and commercial agreements. They can also review all industry and trade-related legislation and assist with business structure decisions. Moreover, you can also get your certifications quickly with a local attorney’s assistance. Although International Trade Administration can help you with intellectual property rights, your local attorney can educate you about local precedents to strengthen your case.
Getting a lawyer might seem like an unnecessary expenditure at first. But, getting the right lawyer can help protect you and your business against potential fines and lawsuits. Since they are well-versed in local law, they can advise you on various compliance issues before, during, or after product and service sales.
5. Sell Your Product or Service
After setting up your business, it’s time to sell your product and services. The most important thing to do is grab attention – without offending.
Develop a comprehensive and effective marketing strategy by considering cultural norms and customs. Ensure your customer service is top-notch and respectful, and understand local behaviors. Make sure your branding, packaging, and labeling are in the local language. Your international team can help come up with catchy slogans.
Next, make sure your products are available in the market. Remember, hitting your target sales takes time. Keep using the feedback to improve the marketing plan. You might also want to reconsider your pricing models in some economic environments.
The key to expanding your technological business worldwide is to think globally but act locally. After you pick your destination, learn about the new culture, legislation, and available resources. Build a local team of well-qualified technology experts and develop an extensive plan of action for them to follow. While the new team is being built, hire a local attorneyto give legal advice to ensure all your activities are legally acceptable.
Once you have put down the roots of your business in a new country, it is time to make it functional and grow. Research, evaluate, and then adapt your marketing strategy and pricing policies according to local culture and economy. Do not forget the power of a sound online marketing strategy and an effective social media presence to create a strong brand image for your product or service. Only by making methodological and sound decisions can you ensure your technological business will survive the new country’s atmosphere and successfully expand internationally.